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Energy Vanguard Blog

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My Passion for Building Science Education and Bad Contractors

Installing windows before house wrap is like tucking your raincoat into your pants.

When asked to name our passions at the conference I went to in Portland, Oregon last week, I had to think about it a little bit. I had just been discussing what it is we aim to do at a company strategy session a few days before, so that discussion came to mind. At the strategy session, I said we provide building science information to help people who want to do things the right way or who want to hire contractors who do things the right way. I knew there had to be a better way to say it, though.

7 Reasons to Go to the ACI National Home Performance Conference

new orleans aci affordable comfort national home performance conference

The ACI National Home Performance Conference is only a month away. Even more important, the deadline to get the Early Bird rate on the registration fee is Monday, 6 April. If you work on homes, this conference is for you. Here are 7 reasons why.

The Energy Vanguard Blog Turns 5

blogging about building science five years

On Saturday, the Energy Vanguard Blog turned 5 years old. It's been an interesting and rewarding journey, and I'm really glad I sat down and started doing it in early March 2010.

Solar Electricity: "The Final Source of Energy"

net zero energy home

Back in 1982, I was an undergraduate studying physics and listening to the Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. I loved my OMD album and was captivated by the song Electricity. Towards the end of the song, they sing:

Are You Being Responsible with Numbers?

numbers math uncertainty building science

Numbers. We deal with them all the time. They come at us from all directions. We believe them. Or we don't. We throw them out and expect others to believe us. Those of us who work in the field of building science have a responsibility to understand them, to use them wisely, to share them appropriately. But there's one word that describes the irresponsible way that numbers are used much of the time.

Matt Risinger's Building Science Summer Camp Interviews

Table talk at Building Science Summer Camp

August for me is dominated by Building Science Summer Camp. It's a great event with lots of learning, great discussions, and meeting friends, old and new. I'll be writing about Dr. Chris Timusk's presentation on his OSB research later and possibly one or two other topics. Hal Levin spoke most of Tuesday, and, after his rambling, two-hour introduction, his talk on indoor air pollution was full of useful information. Today, though, let me just give you this nice little video that Matt Risinger put together from interviews he did with me, Joe Lstiburek, and Mark Laliberte.

Our First Hybrid HERS Rater Training - How Did We Do?

home energy hers rater training class cantilever floor

We just completed our first combined online and in-person home energy rater training class. I've been wanting to do this for a while now because I've suspected that our attempt to buck the industry preference for a 5-day class by doing ours in 8 days was keeping our registration numbers low. At the request of one of the students who signed up for our just-completed class, I made the leap. Wanna know how we did?

12 Resources for Learning & Teaching Building Science

HERS rater training pressure testing practice building science education resources

This week at the ACI conference in Detroit, I was part of a session called Speed Dating: Educational Training Tools. It was really fun, with groups of people going to different stations every half hour and getting the scoop on training resources available to them. My job was to show the groups who came to my table web resources. That made it even more fun for me because it meant, unlike J. West, I didn't have to do any preparation! (I also co-moderated a panel on ventilation, with Lstiburek, Francisco, Walker, and other 62.2 members. Look for an article on that next week!)

My First Affordable Comfort Conference

aci affordable comfort conference trade show

In 2005 I went to my first Affordable Comfort conference, now usually called the ACI national conference or just ACI. The year before I'd gone to the RESNET conference but by 2005, my first business in this industry (ab3 energy) was moving into home performance contracting. I'd just taken a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR class and was trying to learn as much as I could about air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, and running a business in a niche that went against the grain of what most contractors do in homes.

Long Live the One-Week HERS Rater Training!

home energy rater hers training class vent cap

No, this is not an April Fool's joke (as much as I do like writing them, even when it's not 1 April). We've abandoned our 8-day in-class HERS rater training format. Beginning with our next class, the in-class part will last five and a half days. Did you catch the clue in that last sentence?

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